Racing News Blog


Record Keeping

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Something I don’t talk about a lot of is Profit & Loss (P&L) whilst social media is full of people sharing their daily, weekly, monthly P&L usually there is little context added to the screen shot to give any form of education to the reader. P&L’s can have greater negatives when learning to trade than positives. Screen shots of trades and P&L’s are actually banned from our academy the main reason why is because whilst you might be waving your ego about in glory of hitting a big winner some poor bastard could have taken a loss in the same market or in general having a tough time of things.

So what positive’s can we take from a P&L ? well I strongly advise recording your results in your own spreadsheet or there are a couple of good places you can download your Betfair P&L to online here are the links:

Looking back on past results and comparing the days events could help you going forward. Looking at what races you traded particularly well in or races you struggled with, maybe writing a journal is helpful jotting down a few notes in a diary each day so you can look back and reflect. I used to do this religiously a few years ago and still have the diaries in the back of my desk draws. Writing a journal is not something I do now but keeping records is a must and I am sure all professionals do this.

We never know how a day, week or even month will turn out. Trading is a game of randomness however if you understand fully how the market operates that you trade then you will know when to chill and remain patient when the market is not showing its hand. Just to give one example of many I often find around April and this time of year (September) we can get some tough days which I think is down to the change over period of racing codes. We are about to switch from summer racing of flat turf and summer jumps to winter jumps and some of that terrible All weather racing. We have to remember markets are not just made up of traders and not everyone trading the same, we have people trading manually,  using automation, straight gamblers, matched bettors, bookies dumping liabilities just to name a few. Any serious professional straight gambler will not be lumping big money around this time or year. It is a bit like any serious football trader does not trade in August at the start of the football season and if they do its on reduced stakes because they are waiting for the form to develop, it is no different in racing.

So although these months can still be good to trade if we have a quieter period I am aware of the market conditions so remain more patient around these times but also at times during other parts of the year where the market is quiter. Journal writing will help in this because you can look back and reflect. Also looking back at individual races might help you. Are you better at trading sprints to 3 miles chases? are you more comfortable in small fields to bigger fields? The list can be endless but fine tuning what you are doing can help to improving your results. I would not look too deeply into it personally but being aware of market conditions does help. Being aware of what you are trading and conditions that could affect your trade is important though. You might look back on a day and think you traded terribly when in fact if you could have tweaked a few things you could have much better results.

I encourage anyone new to this to start off with small stakes whilst learning to build the bank slowly when knowledge and confidence grows. It can be hard on smaller stakes because your P&L can be warped a little. what I mean by that is if using flat level stakes your results might be a little skewed because when you gain knowledge of your market and you can see a quality opportunity you can stake more aggressively. Why throw £5 at an opportunity you can throw  £50 at or throw £50 at an opportunity you can throw £500 at? this comes down to understanding your subject and market knowledge along with confidence. Hitting the solid opportunities will boost your profits massively and put you in the winners enclosure so to speak. More importantly it gives you an understanding of what to cut your staking down on or even stay out of.  Keeping records and journals might help this understanding when to load up on a trade and when to cut staking down.

This is also why I encourage members to record their trades. I also encourage them to send me their trades to critique. So many turn this opportunity down which I think is crackers because I have helped several members 1–2-1 with feed back on their trades where they only needed to tweak a few things to get them back on track and their bank has received a positive boost financially in the process. Using these tools and having some reflection on the past can help future results but don’t dwell on the past too much but use it to your advantage of self improvement.

Of course we are in this game to make money but the focus should not be on the P&L it should be on the journey getting there so keeping records, recording trades to watch back on and keeping a journal are all positives to self improvement.

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